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Doin’ Nuthin’

February 10, 2013

Okay, so today, I had to work out–which I did twice. I want to build my upper body, so I combined my usual workout, which takes about 45 minutes, with a completely upper-body workout, which takes an hour. I also have to do some blog work–get some guest blogs in the rotation, and write a couple of my own. And it’s time to start the project planning process for the 2013 Conference–it’s the greatest conference in the history of forever, you should come. I also want to try a veggie burger recipe out of the cookbook I got for Christmas. And the tiles in the bathtub need some work. Plus there’s the 365-day challenge I’m doing on my other blog.

Did you ever want to just go away to a secluded lake and collapse onto your back in a canoe and look up at the sky?

Unfortunately, the work in which we live places very little value on such activities. In fact, the canoe thing isn’t an activity. It’s a non-activity. It’s time when you could be doing something, accomplishing something, and you aren’t.

When I was in my 20s, every weekend stretched out in front of me like a giant Christmas present, filled with all kinds of unseen possibilities. I might go see a movie, or go for a run. Maybe I’d watch a ballgame. Maybe I’d go on a date, or rent a movie. It was fantastic. And it was foreign.

My current employer stresses a high-performance workplace. That means you have to be flexible and nimble and manage your work so you can get an awful lot of stuff done in a very brief period.

And I can do all that. I can do the two blogs and the workouts and the bathroom tile–well maybe not the bathroom tile, that scares me–and the project management. But when the day is done, so am I.

The human body and mind were built for intense periods of activity followed by downtime, and we’ve lost the appreciation for downtime. We’ve lost the beauty of a lazy afternoon where absolutely nothing happens. Our lives look like an episode of 24, minus the nuclear explosions and torture. We could use a little Andy Griffith.

All this activity is bound to affect your writing.

I’ve written a lot about writer’s block on this blog, some reasons you might have it, and some remedies. Maybe one of the remedies is to rest. To take a Sunday and do absolutely nothing. And by nothing, I mean no writing, either.

Writing every day is a wonderful way to get better, but so’s knowing when you need downtime–as opposed to just being lazy.

Even people who work out take off days every now and again. You have to.

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